Thursday, December 8, 2011

RV Mods: Storage. Add-A-Drawer. Add-A-Shelf. Dish Drainer. Repurpose. Alka-Seltzer. Digital Printers. Mary, Queen of Scots. Doctors.

For "tRaVersing or RV Thursday":
Make your RV more user friendly with these inexpensive ideas

"A little organization will go a long way towards making your RV adventures more pleasant. When things are well organized and in their proper place it makes setting up and breaking camp much easier. RVers Allen and Evelyn Hokenson from West Covina, California showed me a few tips on how they organize their RV.  Allen made simple plywood dividers inside one of his storage bays to hold folding chairs. He varnished the wood (eliminates splinters) and fastened it to the floor and ceiling of the compartment with "L" brackets. This storage solution is inexpensive and easy to make.

Evelyn loves her travel organization basket. This basket sits on the dash and holds maps, pencils, notebooks, reading glasses and other assorted travel aids. The basket sits low enough not to disturb the driver's view and provides a handy storage solution that's easy to reach and keeps the dashboard tidy."

Keeping it clean - Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing


Add a useful under-table drawer to your dinette

"No RV cook ever complained about having too much working counter top space or too many drawers to hold all the tools that allow the chief cook to produce those fabulous gourmet meals.

Now you can please your "Chef d'RV" by adding an additional drawer that fits neatly under a dinette table or cupboard to hold place mats, eating utensils, chopsticks, or toothpicks."

Features: Easy pull handle, Double rail design accommodates for flat or lipped table styles. Included: (1) Drawer tray, Mounting hardware, Self-locking sliding channels.

Dimensions: 17"L x 8" W " x 2" H  You can find Add-A-Drawers at Dyers RV Parts and Accessories for only $28.42."


RV space saving shelves for books, videos

"When it comes space saving, RVers need it. So it was when we picked up a 24′ travel trailer and started packing it up for a long journey. Being inveterate readers and video watchers, space for books and (gasp) VHS tapes was at a premium. But there was a large amount of space above the windows in the bedroom, and book and video shelves were a natural.

Big disclaimer: My pappy was a carpenter of renown, but apparently such an ability is not passed in DNA. Whenever I pick up a hammer and look at a piece of wood, my wife begins to snicker. But hey, just how hard can a couple of shelves be?

The old thinking of “measure twice, cut once” certainly tells. I “blew” the first end pieces, as I “thought” I had the right length. Since the end pieces were the ones most easily seen in our configuration, I wanted the ends to cover up the top and bottom “width” runs of the shelves. Too bad I didn’t “think” through that; one more trip to the lumberyard.

Assembly meant I simply built a long, four-sided box with no front or back. Small corner brackets at each inside corner of the shelf unit held the basic configuration together, but then I added additional strength by nailing the ends to the horizontals–small wire brads worked great. I could have added a little wood glue between the joints, but skipped it."

Read the rest of how to do it: 


Dish Rack Drain Problem Solved

"When we lived in a house we had a built-in dishwasher. Nowadays you can get a built-in dishwasher in your RV (usually where the oven used to be located), however in our RV - I am the dishwasher!

One of the problems I encountered early on as the "Chief Bottle Washer," was the problem of water not draining off the dish rack drain pan. The dish rack tray needed to be elevated in order for the water to be able to run back into the sink.

I added the equivalent of a 2x2 under the drain tray at the opposite end from the drain lip.

I cut the wood to size and attached it using two drywall screws.



Here is the side view showing the elevated tray:"


Posted by Jim Twamley



Repurpose everyday items on the road to be more green

"These days, there are two distinct realities to accept when it comes to the environment. One is the fact that the planet's resources are on the decline, and the other is the fact that world's landfills are running out of space to accommodate all of the garbage. We all need to find ways to extend our world's limited resources and minimize the amount of trash we put in our landfills. One way we can do that is by repurposing some everyday items, whether we are at home or on the road.

Repurposing an item is the act of finding alternative use for an object rather than discarding it altogether and is certainly an environment-friendly practice. It can also be an especially valuable habit for campers and RVers due to the limited space in a car or RV. When on the road, packing multi-purposed items helps to maximize storage space.

There are a lot of ways by which to repurpose everyday items to cut the cost of living while on the road. Here are a few examples to try out the next time you go on a road trip.

Empty liquid detergent bottles

Discarded bottles of liquid detergent that we throw out are often not really as empty as we think. They still have a lot of soap sticking to their sides, so why waste the soap in these bottles when we can use them to set up a washing station when camping?

All you need to do is to fill these empty bottles with water and you'll have diluted liquid detergent. When you set up camp, just take these bottles out and place them at one spot with a roll of tissue, a garbage bag, and a basin for collecting water. You can then use the water for washing hands or cleaning dishes.

A series of everyday items that we can repurpose

It is easy to repurpose everyday items while on the road

Mesh produce bags

Sometimes, the fruits and vegetables that we buy at the market are packaged in mesh bags. More often than not, we just throw these mesh bags away because we don't have any other use for them. You can actually use these mesh bags for scrubbing the pots and pans that you brought for cooking. Fold these mesh bags into clumps that you can hold comfortably and keep them in place with a rubber band. (Or use them for packing between fragile items, or storing things and hang them on hooks.)

Newspaper sleeves

Do you still have your newspaper delivered every morning when you're home? Is your daily paper wrapped in a plastic sleeve to protect it? Instead of throwing away these newspaper sleeves, you can collect them and use them as disposable work gloves or handy travel bags for wrapping items such as kitchen utensils, toothbrushes, and lotion bottles.

Old shower curtains

If you need tarp for covering luggage stowed on the roof of your RV or for spreading on the ground on picnics, you can use old shower curtains instead of buying tarp. Your old shower curtains may seem faded and don't look pristine anymore, but they're waterproof and are probably still durable. They can protect your things as effectively as tarp can.

Orange peels

After eating your oranges, don't throw your orange peels just yet. The natural oil on orange peels is an excellent bug repellant. Rub the inside of the peel against your exposed skin and place the orange peels you have collected near your sleeping spot before retiring for the night. You're sure to have a good night's sleep free from mosquito and other bug bites.

Used aluminum foil

Grilling and barbecuing are commonplace when camping. It's also common practice to wrap freshly grilled or barbecued meat in aluminum foil to let the meat rest and to seal in the juices. Afterwards, most people throw away the aluminum foil. Instead of throwing the foil out, you can wash it and wrap it around your water bottles and canteens. By doing this, you can enjoy cool water for drinking when you go for a hike.

Use a ball of aluminum foil to clean your grill. Make a ball as big as your fist and just rub away grease and grime.

You can also use these used sheets of aluminum foil to line your tackle box. The aluminum foil will keep moisture out of your tackle box and the rust off your hooks and other fishing gear.

Empty prescription bottles

In case of emergency, people often bring small items such as nails, thumbtacks, and string with them when camping. Storing them in compartmentalized utility boxes is sometimes not enough. If you drop the box, you risk spilling these small items all over your RV and put your travel companions in danger. You can prevent this by storing your small items in empty prescription bottles before chucking them in your utility box.

Zip lock bags

You can use and reuse zip lock bags as many times as you want. One interesting use you can have of them is as pillows. If you have an air pump with you, you can blow air into zip lock bags, zip them, and sleep on them. So, don't worry if you forgot to pack pillows with you for your camping outing.

Repurposing is not just an environment-friendly practice. It is also a utilitarian means of maximizing the storage space in our RVs and minimizing the number of things we have to take when camping or on the road. Try repurposing on your next camping excursion to see just how useful it really is.

You can read more about repurposing and reusing everyday items at the US Environmental Protection Agency and at"


Fire Safety Tip:

"Spontaneous combustion can occur in damp charcoal. Buy charcoal fresh, keep it dry, and store it in a covered metal container.

Rags soiled with auto wax or cleaners that contain petroleum products or other oil-based cleaning materials can also spontaneously combust if disposed of in a combustible container. Put dirty cleaning rags in a metal container with a lid. Learn more about Mac and fire safety."


Tips,  I haven't tried these, just passing them along:

During a deck party awhile back, the bugs were biting everyone. One man sprayed the lawn and deck floor with LISTERINE – the little demons disappeared. The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and sprayed around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes. It worked well. At a picnic we sprayed the area around the food table, the children's swing area, and the standing water nearby. 

Periodically clean the screens in your roof vents.

When setting up camp, check for ants. You may want to spray you electrical cord and sewer hose, as ants crawl up them enter the RV.

And my tip: Make sure that there are no overhanging branches touching your RV, as the ants will find their way in there, too.

These are about Alka Seltzer:
To CLEAN A CHINA TOILET? – Fill bowl with water… drop in 2 tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action make it sparkle.

To CLEAN A STAIN FROM A VASE – Fill with water & add 2 tablets.

To POLISH JEWELLERY – Add 2 tablets to glass of water - immerse jewelry for 2 minutes.

CLEAN A THERMOS BOTTLE – Fill bottle with water, drop in 4 tablets, soak 1 hour or more

UNCLOG A DRAIN – Drop 3 tablets in drain, follow with 1 cup White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.


"Be very careful about what you have COPIED ON SOMEONE ELSE'S DIGITAL PRINTER. Plus wipe the hard drive clear when you get rid of yours! If you have made copies on a digital copier machine all info is available. You have no privacy. Share this valuable information."


Today's really brain-damaged riddle:

Q: How are a Texas tornado and a Tennessee divorce the same?

A: Somebody's gonna lose a trailer.


On This Day:

Mary Queen of Scots born.  Dec 8, 1542:

"In Linlithgow Palace in Scotland, a daughter is born to James V, the dying king of Scotland. Named Mary, she was the only surviving child of her father and ascended to the Scottish throne when the king died just six days after her birth.

Mary's French-born mother, Mary of Guise, sent her to be raised in the French court, and in 1558 she married the French dauphin, who became King Francis II of France in 1559 and died in 1560. After Francis' death, Mary returned to Scotland to assume her designated role as the country's monarch. Mary's great-uncle was Henry VIII, the Tudor king of England, and in 1565 she married her English cousin Lord Darnley, another Tudor, which reinforced her claim to the English throne. This greatly angered the current English monarch, Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1567, Darnley was mysteriously killed in an explosion at Kirk o' Field, and Mary's lover, James Hepburn, the earl of Bothwell, was the key suspect. Although Bothwell was acquitted of the charge, his marriage to Mary in the same year enraged the nobility, and Mary was forced to abdicate in favor of her son by Darnley, James. Mary was imprisoned on the tiny island of Loch Leven.

In 1568, she escaped from captivity and raised a substantial army but was defeated by her Scottish foes and fled to England. Queen Elizabeth I initially welcomed Mary but was soon forced to put her cousin under house arrest after Mary became the focus of various English Catholic and Spanish plots to overthrow her. In 1586, a major Catholic plot to murder Elizabeth was uncovered, and Mary was brought to trial, convicted for complicity, and sentenced to death.

On February 8, 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded for treason at Fotheringhay Castle in England. Her son, King James VI of Scotland, calmly accepted his mother's execution, and upon Queen Elizabeth's death in 1603, he became James I, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland."



It was a busy day.  I had to be dressed, feed all eleven animals their breakfasts, take all the dogs out, wait while they did their thing, count noses as they came back in, and be ready to leave here at 8.15 AM for my doctor's appointment.  Jay wanted to go with me into town, so I picked him up, fortunately he was ready.  I was asked to arrive at the doctor's office early as I am a retread, so there could be extra paperwork. 

I used to go to this lady doctor, but when my insurance changed, I went to a man doctor for a year or two.  Now I am back with this lady doctor.   My blood pressure was 110/70, I guess that's good.  She listened to my chest, said it sounded fine, and wrote orders for a mammogram and bone density test. Just for the record, I am on NO meds.

The nurse tried to arrange for me to see the chiropractor in that clinic, as my knee has been bothering me for about a week.  Also it bothered my back to sit or lay down.  Last time it felt exactly like this, it was because my back was out.  We found out that my insurance doesn't cover chiropractors, so I would have to pay $116 !!  Forget that.  They took 4 vials of blood out of my arm in the lab, and I was done.

Getting there early was a good thing, I was seen and out of there only 10 minutes past my appointment time.

We went to St. Marks Thrift shop, but nothing spoke to us there.  Then at the Assistance League Thrift Shop, Jay found one of those camo padded hunting suits for $10.  He tried it on over his clothes, and it fit perfectly.  Now he can ride his 3-wheeler in the cold.  He wished he had had it when we were working on that storm door.

At the Feed Store in Conroe, she had some decent quality cat food which she had marked down, and marked it down even more for my foster cats.  She has known me for a long time as a customer, and also as I used to do private duty nursing for one of her relatives.

We drove by one of the chiropractors who I used to go to in Conroe, and he is closed on Wednesdays.

We made a quick stop at Kroger's, and went by another chiropractor that I go to in our town.  They were closed for  lunch.

As I had to get back to my boarders, we headed home.

After I had dropped off Jay and his purchases, I came home, took the dog's out, fed the puppy, and had lunch. 

The chiropractor in our town said they would fit me right in, so off I went.  He charged me less than he used to, and so my wallet, back and knee feel fine now.

I got cracking in the grooming room and cut down two of Mindi's poodles.  Caesar stood still, as always, he loves to be the center of attention.  It is about the only time he isn't barking "Me, Me", trying to get attention.  Drives me nuts, I am surprised my blood pressure wasn't higher.  All the thousands of poodles I have had, and known, he is the only one like that.    I like to groom Caesar, but I don't like to board him.

Punky wouldn't hold still as usual, and I was constantly re-positioning her so I could clip the different parts of her body.  Then she would move again, so I would put her back in place, until my left arm, side and shoulder ached.  I had intended to cut down the other poodle, Shuggy, too, but I was just beat.

Eleven little dinners still had to be fixed, twelve including me, so I did that, also de-wormed the puppy, did the litter boxes, and covered up the plants outside.

As I said, it was a busy day!


Gypsy said...

I can't imagine having to feed that many animals. My big dog is enough work for me.

Michelle said...

You have some great ideas regarding storage solutions for RV that I can use in my own RV. I will post later on what we have done in our own RV conversion. I have pinned and tweeted your post.

Carla said...

Love your blog!! Great collection of ideas. Cool to see about your day too:)